Inside Court News

Supreme Court Relieves Delhi Metro of Rs 8000 Crore Liability in Landmark Judgment

In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court has overturned its 2021 judgment, relieving the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) of a staggering liability amounting to approximately Rs 8000 crores. The ruling comes as a relief to the DMRC, overturning a previous arbitral award in favor of the Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure.


The central issue revolved around the validity of the arbitral award against DMRC and the subsequent judicial intervention.


The Supreme Court, in its latest ruling, highlighted the error in its interference with the Delhi High Court’s judgment, emphasizing the well-considered nature of the latter’s decision. The Court underscored that the restoration of the arbitral award resulted in an unjust burden on a public utility, constituting a miscarriage of justice.


By setting aside its previous judgment, the Supreme Court rectified the legal anomaly, restoring the parties to their pre-arbitration positions. This move entails the refund of deposited amounts by DMRC, discontinuation of execution proceedings for the award, and cessation of coercive action.


The Court’s exercise of curative jurisdiction underscores its commitment to rectifying legal injustices, albeit sparingly and in deserving cases. This landmark ruling not only alleviates a substantial financial burden on DMRC but also reaffirms the judiciary’s role in upholding fairness and equity in legal proceedings.

The case, which originated from a contractual dispute between DMRC and DAMEPL, underscores the complexities inherent in public-private partnerships and underscores the importance of meticulous legal scrutiny in resolving such disputes. With this decisive ruling, the legal landscape surrounding arbitration awards and public utilities receives clarity, setting a precedent for future cases.

Written by — Athi Venkatesh AVD

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